Author Archive for Andrew J. Vandiver

Catholic Schools: A Community Institution
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Catholic Schools: A Community Institution

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The fact that Catholic education produces solid academic results is well documented. The benefits include the following: 98% of low income, minority children graduate from Catholic high schools, compared to only 66% of all students in public schools; Hispanic and African American Students who attend Catholic schools are 2.5 times more likely to graduate college; […]

More and The Millenial
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More and The Millenial

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Recently I wrote about the beginning of my faith journey. I had become dissatisfied with the prevailing secular ideologies of the day and began seriously exploring Christianity. Two years later, I was still grappling with what it all meant for my own life. It was 2010 and I had just finished law school. I was […]

My Trek to Catholicism: Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual
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My Trek to Catholicism: Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual

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If you had told me seven years ago that I was on the verge of converting to Catholicism and that I would eventually work for the Church, I would have nodded politely and slowly backed away towards the nearest exit. The idea would have seemed completely crazy. On my best days, I was a loosely […]

Have Mercy on Walter White and Tony Soprano
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Have Mercy on Walter White and Tony Soprano

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I recently read Pope Francis’ new book, The Name of God is Mercy. The book is based on an interview with a Vatican reporter and is presented in a Q & A format.   I was struck in particular by a chapter titled “Sinners Yes, Corrupt No.” In this chapter, Pope Francis discusses the difference between […]

<em>Civil War</em> and the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
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Civil War and the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Superhero movie fatigue is a strange phenomenon for older millennials. I grew up in a time when live action superhero films were rare and mostly subpar. The 1970’s Hulk was a bodybuilder in green paint. The 1980’s Punisher was played by Dolph Lundren, minus the iconic skull symbol. The 1990’s Captain America had rubber ears.   […]

Bored With the Culture Wars?
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Bored With the Culture Wars?

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If you’re bored with the culture wars, you are not alone. I often feel like Bill Murray’s character in Goundhog Day. Instead of having I Got You Babe seared into my brain on a daily basis, I wake up every morning to news of another skirmish in the culture wars. I read on Facebook that […]

Playing God on <em>11.22.63</em>
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Playing God on 11.22.63

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Hulu recently released an eight-episode miniseries based on the Stephen King novel, 11.22.63. I had  high expectations prior to its release given that the novel is one of my favorite books written by King. I am pleased to report that the miniseries exceeded my expectations. It was entertaining, well-acted, and even spoke to me on […]

Laudato Si: Year One
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Laudato Si: Year One

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It has been a little over a year since Pope Francis released his encyclical, Laudato Si.’ The document generated a great deal of attention, particularly in the area of public policy. What action should the government take in order to address the environmental issues facing the planet? Unfortunately, the political questions surrounding Pope Francis’ message […]

Pope Francis and School Choice
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Pope Francis and School Choice

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In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis addressed issues related to marriage and the family. The document has received a great deal of media coverage and it will shape the way that the Church discusses these issues moving forward. One important section of the exhortation focused on reaffirming the Church’s […]

<em>Superman v. Batman</em>: What Might Have Been
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Superman v. Batman: What Might Have Been

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While the consensus is that Superman v. Batman was a major disappointment, my feelings are more mixed. Was it a terrible movie or simply a failure to live up to expectations? The movie was entertaining in many respects. It was visually stunning. It provided us with one of the best depictions of Batman/Bruce Wayne to […]

A Catholic Perspective on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law
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A Catholic Perspective on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

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This past week Indiana adopted a state-level version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This law imposes a higher standard of review when the state or a local government passes laws that interfere with the free exercise of religion. However, the law has unfairly been characterized as legislation that would authorize, or even […]

School Choice and the Constitution
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School Choice and the Constitution

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One common concern with regard to school choice legislation is that it will violate the U.S. Constitution by enabling children to attend religiously affiliated schools. While this concern is understandable, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected arguments that school choice legislation amounts to an unlawful entanglement between church and state. Specifically, the U.S. Supreme Court […]